Tag Archives: Minneapolis

Sanctuary: What it is, what it isn’t, why it’s important

Refugees welcome

Minnesotans demonstrate in support of refugees – 2015 (Photo by Mary Turck)

UPDATED 1/25/2017  When Donald Trump targeted “sanctuary cities,” threatening to cut off all federal funding, what was he talking about? Turns out – as usual – that the answer is more complex than the sound bite. Here’s a quick primer on sanctuary, both in misnamed “sanctuary cities” and in the real and resurgent sanctuary church movement – and a note on what Trump’s January 25 Executive Order fails to do.  Continue reading


Filed under human rights, immigration

Down-ballot: My picks in St. Paul and Minneapolis

ballot box graphic

A couple of people have asked me who I recommend voting for in down-ballot races. Down-ballot races make a huge difference in post-election life, which is to say, in all of our lives, every day of every year. So I’ve looked at my own sample ballot in St. Paul, and also at some Minneapolis races. For more on down-ballot races in general, see Voting down-ballot in Minnesota. For more on voting in general, see Vote – to answer the attack on democracy. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for St. Paul and Minneapolis voting:

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#JusticeforJamar: What’s wrong with the mainstream story, where to find critical analysis and information



Protest rally after Freeman decision not to charge cops.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman delivered the official story on March 30, along with piles of documents and videos available on his website. According to the official story, a complete investigation resulted in no charges because it’s tough to charge a police officer with anything and there just wasn’t enough evidence. Several people have poked giant holes in Freeman’s presentation, including his misstatements of evidence, his dismissing the importance of eyewitness testimony, his over-statement of the reliability and meaning of forensic evidence, and his use of language and rhetoric that dehumanized and denigrated Jamar Clark. Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, police and crime, race

Listening to Glendale voices


On this cold Minnesota night, about 25 Glendale Public Housing residents gather at Luxton Park for a Defend Glendale meeting. Discussion shifts back and forth, English to Somali, with translations and side conversations swirling about the room. Continue reading

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Glendale residents want insulation, not blankets

Repairs now not later sign

Photo from Defend Glendale Facebook page

In a single November weekend, more than a hundred Glendale residents signed a petition setting out a vision for their community, and making two dozen specific demands for repairs and improvements. The petition is one more step in the ongoing dispute between Glendale residents (and their Prospect Park neighbors) and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, which wants to sell off the public housing development to private developers. Continue reading


Filed under housing

Minneapolis City Council and Black Lives Matter: Which is what democracy looks like?



First, the city council refused to allow public testimony about the police shooting of Jamar Clark. Then, without notice to protesters and their supporters, a council committee voted to open its meeting to immediate public testimony about the Fourth Precinct protests. The people present and ready to testify? Opponents of the protest, of course, including Police Federation head Bob Kroll. This is not what democracy looks like. Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, race, Uncategorized

Day 16 of #4thPrecinctShutdown: Still strong in Minneapolis

Use extreme caution sign

The day after Mayor Betsy Hodges, Congressmember Keith Ellison, City Council members Barbara Johnson and Blong Yang, and an assorted group of “community leaders” called for an end to the protest on Plymouth Avenue, the protesters are staying strong. Continue reading

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Stand up, fight back: March after white supremacists shoot protesters

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UPDATE 10 p.m.: A huge crowd marched from the 4th Precinct to downtown Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon, unintimidated by the white supremacist shooting of  five protesters on Monday night. As of Tuesday evening, police have three young white men in custody. A Hispanic man was arrested but then released, as he was not at the shooting scene. For more, see Star Tribune article. [This article has been substantially revised and updated, following the march.]

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Telling truths about Jamar Clark, Minneapolis police and #BlackLivesMatter

Nekima Levy-Pounds, Erica Mauter, Bill Lindeke, and Karen Wills: these are just a few of the eloquent voices I’ve been reading over the past week. They’ve written through the police attacks on demonstrators on November 18 and through the political and police debates going on all over the Twin Cities media. I know it’s hard to keep up with the news — just compiling the information for this post took me all of Sunday afternoon. So, if you want good information and don’t want to spend all day searching  for it, here’s a brief recap of the week’s events, followed by links to and quotes from some of the best of this week’s statements and analyses. Continue reading


Filed under human rights, race

Justice for Jamar

Tony Webster Frantz Fanon photo

Photo of banner outside the Minneapolis Police Department fourth precinct by Tony Webster. Published under Creative Commons license.

Colorado Road 72 in Fort Collins in Winter

Someone called police early Sunday morning. Domestic assault, they said. Paramedics helping the victim, and a man interfering with them, they said. Did he want to talk? To fight? Maybe even to apologize? We don’t know. We do know that police acted, taking Jamar Clark away from the paramedics. Minutes later, the 24-year-old black man lay on the ground with a police bullet in his head. Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, race